Decades of service: Clinton Franciscans celebrate jubilees

Clinton Franciscans who celebrated jubilees in 2020, 2021 and 2022 pose for a photograph with Bishop Thomas Zinkula last month at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton. The sisters are, front, from left, Sisters Anne Martin Phelan, Hilary Mullany, Marjorie Wisor, Janice Cebula; back, Sisters Theresa Judge, Carmel Jacobs, Maria Zeimen and Phyllis Morris.

The Catholic Messenger

CLINTON — For the first time in three years, the Clinton Franciscans were able to celebrate jubilees together in person and to give witness to the lives and service of the congregation’s 2020-22 jubilarians.

The Jubilee Mass took place July 16 at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish with Bishop Thomas Zinkula presiding. Seven sisters renewed their vows, including Sister Hilary Mullany, 75 years; Sisters Maria Zeimen, Phyllis Morris and Marjorie Wisor, 70 years; Sisters Theresa Judge and Anne Martin Phelan, 60 years; and Sister Janice Cebula, 50 years. A luncheon followed at Rastrelli’s Tuscany Special Events Center.

The Clinton Franciscans celebrating jubilees in 2022 are:


70 years

Sister Morris, a native of Clinton, entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1952. She has ministered in the areas of education, pastoral ministry and diocesan ministry. Notably, she ministered to the people of Peru, South America, for more than 50 years. She was one of four sisters who went to Peru in 1965 to open a school. She spent many years in Chulucanas, Peru, first serving as principal of Santa Cruz School and later as parish pastoral assistant, director of catechetics, pastoral coordinator, and finance coordinator. She retired from full-time ministry in Peru in 2018. Additionally, Sister Morris served as a teacher at schools in Illinois, California and Iowa. She served two years at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Portland, Oregon. Presently, she enjoys creating ceramic art pieces to promote nonviolence and peacemaking.

Sister Wisor, a native of Goose Lake, entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1952. She has served in the areas of education, pastoral ministry and social service. She was a teacher in three Iowa schools and taught French collegiately in Iowa, New York and Missouri. She served in pastoral ministry in Wisconsin and Kentucky. While studying in France in the late 1960s, Sister Wisor met the founder of L’Arche, an international federation of homes for people with and without disabilities. After volunteering with L’Arche in Trosly-Breuil, France, she worked to establish a L’Arche community in Clinton. The first home opened in 1974 and Sister Wisor served as the director until 1986. She has also served as a member of the formation team for the Sisters of St. Francis and as director of the Carondelet Family Literacy Program in St. Louis. She retired from full-time ministry in 2017. Currently, she oversees the library at The Canticle, plays the keyboard and enjoys networking with the L’Arche Clinton community.

60 years

Sister Judge, a native of rural Elvira, Iowa, entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1962. She has ministered in the area of education and is currently working in congregational administration. Notably, she served 39 years at Mount St. Clare College and its successors, The Franciscan University (of the Prairies) and Ashford University. Sister Judge taught at schools in Iowa and Illinois. While serving at the collegiate level, she held many roles: resident director, tennis coach, athletic director, dean of students, English instructor and department chair. She retired from education in 2015 but continued to serve on several boards in the local area. She currently volunteers for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, L’Arche Clinton, Clinton Human Rights Commission and Clinton YWCA Racial Justice Committee. Sister Judge was appointed to the position of general secretary for the congregation in 2021, where she assists the president with official correspondence and is responsible for preserving all deeds, documents and the seal of the congregation.

Sister Phelan, a native of Mingo, Iowa, entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1962. She has worked in the areas of education, development and congregational leadership. Sister Phelan has been a teacher or principal at schools in Illinois, Iowa and in Freeport, Grand Bahama. She worked in the development office for the congregation for 16 years. Answering the call to congregational leadership, she has served terms as councilor, vice president and president. She moved to Illinois in 2016 and volunteered at Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. School for Exceptional Children in Tinley Park for two years. She currently ministers as the religious education coordinator at St. Cajetan Parish in Chicago and serves as the coordinator of the Sojourner Relationship and Associate Partnership programs for the Sisters of St. Francis.

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